"Pride Flag in Front of Trees" by Pndbnt / CC BY-SA 4.0

Supreme Court’s religious employer ruling could weaken LGBTQ protections

Jul 13, 2020

By Julie Moreau

The Supreme Court’s ruling Wednesday in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, which strengthened the legal protections that shield religious institutions from job discrimination lawsuits, could weaken LGBTQ worker protections, according to some legal experts and advocates.

The case involved Roman Catholic schools in California that were sued after deciding not to renew contracts for two teachers. In the 7-2 decision, written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the high court held that the “ministerial exception” to nondiscrimination law applies to teachers at religiously affiliated schools whose job includes some element of religious instruction.

“When a school with a religious mission entrusts a teacher with the responsibility of educating and forming students in the faith, judicial intervention into disputes between the school and the teacher threatens the school’s independence in a way that the First Amendment does not allow,” Alito wrote for the majority.

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